As most of you probably know, prisoners are very much a part of the zine scene, as much, if not more, by desperation and necessity, than by choice.
I often get submissions of art, poetry, essays, etc., and requests to typeset and print zines, chapbooks, etc. I wish I had more time to do this, but in all practicality, I don't, and therefore I can't promise them anything.
I know that Christopher Robin of Zen Baby helps out prisoner's a lot, and Randy Robbin's of Narcolepsy Press Review has contributed more than his share in the effort, but I'm sure they've got their limits of time and financial resources, and I've read Randy's had some serious health problems.
I recently stumbled upon a service called Shot Caller Press, 8316 N. Lombard St.Portland, Oregon, www.ShotCallerPress.com
, a publisher of prisoner art and poetry. I'm glad they have a physical address I can pass on to prisoners in my mail to them, but I wasn't able to learn much about them from their website (I don't absorb info from the Net very well). Are they legit?
A prisoner also gave me a thick digest prison resource zine called Words Break Bars, but I believe it was printed in 2002, so how good most or all of the many addresses they provided are may be a bit doubtful. I looked it up on Zinewiki, but didn't find it.
So, my main point and question:
What I feel would be very valuable to the disorganized prisoner support scene is some kind of Factsheet 5/Global Mail/APA for prisoners, filled with their art, poetry, rants, LOCs, etc., etc., and PHYSICAL ADDRESSES for free zines, pen pals, prison social services, etc.
I've recently read on this forum that scanning zines is more time consuming and difficult than I thought it was, but this zine could be assembled, scanned and archived on the Net, and it's administration could be web-based, but with the fact in mind that the prisoners participating HAD to have a way of communicating via PHYSICAL/USPS mail. (Several "prisoner support" websites/forums are entirely web-based with no means of feedback for prisoners, except via a third party)
Now, I would not be a candidate for the scanning, website construction and maintenance, etc. I do not have the aptitude and skill for any of that. But I may be able to help financially and contribute, with others, in small ways. Many hands could make light work.
Maybe there's already one, or more. of some zine or network like this in existence that I'm not aware of. If so, by all means let me know. But I'm sure this would be a big step forward in making things easier for prisoners who want to learn, and hey, just have a little fun, through zines.
Any info or ideas would be appreciated.